Hear Daira’s Warped New Double-Album ‘Vipreet Buddhi’
The Mumbai rock band will launch the psychedelic, improv album today
Last year, producer-composer Vishal J. Singh (who is also part of avant-garde group Amogh Symphony) finally got around to seeing Mumbai rock band Daira live, whose self-titled debut album he’d produced in 2015. Guitarist Vikalp Sharma says, “We were already improvising in our sets by then. He saw that and thought it was a good idea to record our jam on tape.”
By the time they got around to recording their mind-bending improv album Vipreet Buddhi, Daira had also tapped into their love for spontaneity rather than just playing a standard setlist. With a rented mixer and hours at Benchmark Studios’ jam room in Thane, the band put to record more than 80 minutes of songs that weren’t even part of their current repertoire. Sharma says jams began to take precedence when they stayed in the hillstation town of Manali for nearly a month in May this year. “We played about nine gigs in 25 days in Manali. We just took our amps and our gear and jammed on stage for two or three hours. There are a few glimpses of those jams, a few words and lines that Piyush [Kapoor, vocalist] sings on the album,” the guitarist says.
Where Singh comes in is his role as a conductor for the group’s jam for Side A (the first eight tracks) of Vipreet Buddhi, which comes across as a sardonic, dark reaction to what the band refers to as “wrong intelligence.” The remaining eight tracks are more of a free-form jam between Sharma, Kapoor, guitarist Shivam Pant, drummer Pratik Kulgod, Singh (who contributes keys on proggy instrumental tune “Maatam”), manager-keyboardist Savi Shrivastava and bassist Aswin Lal, who came down from Kochi just days prior.
Sharma recalls with a laugh that they told Lal—whom they met when the latter’s post-rock band Harbingers performed with Daira in Kochi earlier this year—that “today is a big jam day” when they recorded Vipreet Buddhi. Mixed by Sharma, this is the band’s first release minus bassist Govind Gawli, who left the band in favor of commercial projects. Sharma says, “He [Gawli] kind of drifted from rock to Bollywood. I’m cool with it, though. You can’t control someone.”
The band launches the album at [email protected] tonight, which they’re approaching with total comfort. Sharma says they’ve only jammed two times for the show, specifically songs from their debut album and newer unreleased tracks from what will be their third album. “Most of it will be improv, keeping the hooks [from Vipreet Buddhi]. It’s just us doing our thing, in a more powerful way.”
Daira performs at Flyp @MTV, Kamala Mills, Mumbai on November 17th. Event details here.